PART 2

THE AESTHETICS OF NEW MEDIA EXPRESSION

In part 2, the artists converge on innovating aesthetic expressions in New Media Arts, while academic arts institutions provided an infrastructure for their communities of practice. Their artistic inquiries were supplemented by their departmental leadership roles held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Columbia College, and Indiana University, where they started and nurtured new programs that paralleled their own artistic evolutions. Joan Truckenbrod describes her experiments with mixed media that evolved with digital photomontage, printmaking, painting, and video art. Barbara Sykes and Annette Barbier both explored working with video art and image processing for their MFA projects at SAIC, and Barbier continued to incorporate video into her interactive and Internet-based artworks. With the advent of the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment development at Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Margaret Dolinsky made the medium her own and has produced seventy individual virtual reality artworks, some with variations on a theme and others that explore evolving forms of personal expression. Abina Manning provides a historical overview of S AIC’s Video Data Bank, founded by LynBlumenthal and Kate Horsfield in 1976, which preserved seminal works by many women artists. Tiffany Holmes and Claudia Hart have worked with refined technologies to explore aesthetic possibilities for making provocative statements about the environment, surveillance, and representation of the body within their own artworks and in their teaching. These influential, internationally recognized accomplishments planted seeds for Chicago’s arts community and continue to

encourage future generations with experimentation and theoretical discourse.

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Simulations/Dissimulations Symposium Poster

Courtesy of Donna J. Cox

A major Chicago conference held at SAIC, November 5–7, 1987, where presenters and attendees discussed the primary contemporary issues around emerging computer art and New Media. Invited speakers included Jean Baudrillard, Muriel Cooper, Alan RathStephen Wilson, and Myron Krueger. Ellen Sandor helped to bring Simulations/Dissimulations to SAIC. This influential, international symposium focused on “the interchange between artistic and technological modes of thinking and methods of production.”